History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Essex

by Peter Kessler, 6 November 2011



Epping Forest Part 10: Churches of Epping

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist Epping

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist Epping stands on the western side of the High Street, at the corner with St John's Road. Apparently built on a north-east to south-west axis, the church originated in the fourteenth century or earlier as a free chapel that was in the possession of Waltham Abbey. The dedication to St John was mentioned in 1403. From 1545 onwards the chapel appears to have been regarded as a chapel of ease to All Saints Epping Upland.

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist Epping

Before 1622 the chapel consisted of 'but one aisle that next the road': presumably nave and chancel only. It was enlarged in 1622 and from 1764 it slowly became more independent, with its own chaplain. It was restored in 1784, and rebuilt in 1832. It gained its own parish in 1888 and was rebuilt again in 1889. In 1912 the parish was split into two. The urban part remained as the parish of St John, Epping, while the remainder went to All Saints Epping Upland.

Epping Baptist Church

Epping Baptist Church is on the northern side of St John's Road, approximately midway between St John's Church and Bakers Lane. Baptist work was carried out at Epping in 1848 by Samuel Chancellor from Hayes. A small Baptist chapel was built around 1862, on a 'cottage site' between the High Street and Hemnall Street. In 1893 the congregation moved to the present building. In 1918 this was put in trust for the Strict & Particular Baptist Society, but it had closed by 2011.

Friends Meeting House (Quakers)

The Friends Meeting House (Quakers) is on the southern side of Hemnall Street, midway between St Helen's Court and Theydon Grove. An Epping meeting has existed since 1667, and a meeting house was built at Theydon Grove about 1700. Around 1845, Theydon Grove's owner secured the site and apparently built the present meeting house on an adjoining site. The entrance was altered about 1957. The earlier red-brick building still stands in the grounds of Theydon Grove.

Epping Methodist Church

Epping Methodist Church is on the western side of the High Street, along a slip road behind a thick line of trees, directly opposite the entrance to Station Road. In 1815 a house at Epping was registered for short-lived worship. In 1874 Wesleyan services were started in the old National School in Hemnall Street. An iron church, erected in 1878, was replaced in 1887 by the present brick building. Elim Church shared the premises until about 2010 but was gone by mid-2011.

Plymouth Brethren Meeting Place

Plymouth Brethren Meeting Place stands at the northern side of the narrow Queen's Alley, which is accessed from the southern side of the High Street, opposite Tower Road. A meeting was founded in or before 1894. The building is probably the one that had been erected by the Baptists about 1862 (see above). By mid-2011 the Brethren meeting had ceased, the chapel had been converted into a private dwelling known as Chapel Cottage and was for sale.

In Depth
In Depth


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